THE owner of the warehouse where the P6.4 billion worth of smuggled illegal drugs was seized by authorities is missing, a lawmaker at the House of Representatives said on Monday.
“We invited Mr. Tan to come here today, but unfortunately he cannot be located,” said Rep. Ace Barbers, chairman of the House committee on dangerous drugs, at the resumption of the investigation on the entry P6.4 billion worth of “shabu”, which slipped through Customs.
The absence of Richard Tan prompted Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas to train his guns on the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) who questioned and was able to secure an affidavit from Tan but still failed to arrest him.
Fariñas cited the transcript of the NBI questioning Tan, commenting that the questions were not probing enough.
NBI lawyer Catherine Nolasco fumbled when Fariñas asked her about Tan’s citizenship.
Citing immigration records, Nolasco said that Tan was Chinese but later recanted on her statement and admitted that she wasn’t able to see Tan’s passport.
Nolasco argued that the NBI did not arrest Tan because it was informed by Customs officials that Tan was an informant of the Bureau of Customs.
“He is the owner of the warehouse where the P6.4 billion of drugs was found. So what if he is an informant? He is a suspect. You should have arrested him,” Fariñas, a lawyer, told Nolasco.
“I can’t believe this is the NBI we are talking about here. You are even asking him why is he being questioned and you don’t even know his citizenship. The raid was conducted May 26, and yet, not charges have been filed against him until now,” Fariñas added. LLANESCA T. PANTI